Today's APM Solutions Have Evolved to Encompass the Cloud, Mobility and Dynamic Computing Environments

By Laura Stotler December 21, 2012

The growing popularity of cloud and mobile applications, along with complex and dynamic computing environments, has driven application performance management (APM) to the forefront. For many top executives, APM is a central focus and a means of assuring the performance, availability and value of a new generation of business-critical applications.

APM has outgrown its role as an IT tool, and today's APM solutions are far-reaching, encompassing a number of variables within the enterprise workplace. Application management systems now ensure application performance throughout the enterprise, which helps users speed new releases to market.

This also enables organizations to be proactive about eliminating issues before they affect performance, and helps reduce application management costs while increasing application profitability.

Gartner, Inc. estimates global spending for APM software will grow to $2.14 billion by the end of the year, representing 9 percent growth over the $2 billion spent in 2011. The company attributes this rise to an increasing awareness among executives that applications are their business, as well as a realization that application performance influences customer loyalty with sales and profit.

Technology performance solutions provider Compuware Corporation has observed the APM space and identified trends among C-suite executives. The company has made five predictions for the APM space for 2013, based on APM becoming an integral IT discipline that enables organizations to assure the performance, availability and value of their applications.

The first trend identified is that complexity will continue accelerating around the management of business-critical applications. As IT topologies become increasingly complex, and with the addition of cloud and mobility, the need for unified, real-time insight across the application delivery chain is paramount. Awareness must encompass cloud and third-party services and 24/7 visibility will enable companies to optimize application performance through the cloud, across data center tiers, from users' devices and to a system of record and back again.

Performance analytics are also becoming an important requirement as part of an organization's APM strategy. The massive volumes of big data being collected by companies needs to be parsed, and the new generation of APM will offer automated analytics to deliver actionable insight to ensure applications support business goals. This will also help IT departments optimize application performance and assure both scalability and stability.

Mobility will also be a major driver in the industrialization of mobile apps, according to Compuware's predictions. Now that end users are accessing applications from a variety of mobile devices, apps have matured and have become the primary means of engagement for many markets like e-commerce and financial services. By simplifying mobile complexity, APM solutions can help organizations stay competitive in a changing mobile landscape.

Just as big data will play an important part in the next wave of APM solutions, APM is set to become a major component in big data strategies. Growing data volume, complexity, variety and velocity require a new approach to enterprise analytics, and the new generation of APM will be integrated into big data environments to help organizations eliminate risks and costs of poor performance, availability and scalability.

Finally, by taking a lifecycle approach to APM, organizations will drive the adoption of DevOps and Agile Operations. The new generation of APM solutions will support unified management of the application lifecycle, including development, testing and production. As DevOps and Agile Operations become popular, more organizations will take a lifecycle approach to APM. This means redundant and time-consuming tasks will become automated, leading to faster applications and time-to-market as well as the elimination of issues before they become problems.

"2013 will be another year of accelerated change in the application management space, especially as C-level executives who care about brand, loyalty, revenue and profitability become fluent in the capabilities of new generation APM," said John Van Siclen, general manager of Compuware's APM business unit. "Applications are only getting more complex, new dynamic environments like cloud and big data are going mainstream, mobile applications will be industrialized and application release cycles are shortening. As a result, moving from traditional APM tools to modern APM systems to manage and optimize application performance will be essential for businesses that want to stay ahead of the game."

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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